We’ve all heard that saying that we can’t truly love other people until we have found love in ourselves.

 

I think the intent of that message was supposed to be good, but I really want to call into question its validity and meaning. Because on the surface it sounds nice, we need to love ourselves before we can love others and expect those others to love us back. It is important to find that love and confidence of ourselves, but what if we’re not there yet? What if we’re still struggling to find that self-love that everyone is talking about and have apparently already found with all the meaningful relationships they have? What if? I sure as heck felt left in the dust on that one.

But here’s my place on the matter:

Confidence is something you pursue. It may seem like it comes so naturally to others, as if they just woke up loving themselves. But trust me, we all have our self-doubts and insecurities about something. It may not even be that obvious. A lot of people have a fine-tuned method of putting on that smile every day and pretending like everything is okay. It’s a fake it till you make it kind of strategy. I’m not saying that that technique is totally bogus–I’ve done it most of my life. But you can only do it for so long. It is important to be aware of the fact that no one is 100% perfect, and even though it may seem like everyone else has this confidence thing down, they don’t. Everyone struggles with it every day, just in different ways. We all have things about ourselves that we wish we could change. But what I’m telling you now is that there is a way to combat that.

In order that we find love and confidence in and of ourselves, we must first allow love from others into our lives with open hearts. Don’t think you have to wait until you’re 100% stable and confident in who you are to allow your heart to let others in. You’ll feel very lonely if you do. But instead love and appreciate the people and the love you have all around you. Notice beauty in others without comparing yourself to them. It will do you no good to compare. Don’t be judgmental or envious. Instead, admire the things about them that make them unique, beautiful, and confident. Value the love that is already in your life and keep it close, because it is the one thing in this world that connects us as a race of human beings. If someone is outwardly confident about a certain thing about themselves, notice it and lift them up. Once we stop this jealousy and comparison to others, and instead treasure uniqueness in everyone, then the journey to self-love will unfold.

Finding our confidence is a hard task to achieve. I know I’ve spent my whole life working towards it, and I’ll be honest, I’m still not there. I’m not perfect and there are definitely things about myself that I have wanted to change. But I am actively working against that notion that I can potentially look like someone else. Because I can’t. I am who I am and I can’t change that. Seek out traits about yourself that make you proud of who you are. Revel in what makes you, you.Because that is why the people who choose to stay in your life are there, because they value you. Those traits make you who you are, and there is no one is this world who is exactly like you.

Fine value in your features and acknowledge their beauty. Express those characteristics to the world, and I promise a light will shine from your confidence. People will draw to it. You’ll inspire others to find their own confidence. I know you can do it.

It just takes that one step. Appreciate, recognize, and value the beauty of others, inside and out. Then, appreciate, recognize, and value the beauty of yourself. The two go hand in hand. It is something we must practice every day of our lives. Loving ourselves and loving others is the healthiest thing we can do in this life. Find your confidence, and if you’re still working on it, that’s okay. It is something we must actively pursue every day. Allow love into your life in every aspect, and confidence will be one of the first things that comes out of it.